The on-demand wine merchant taking on the grocery delivery giants

Rapid grocery delivery has been one of the pandemic’s biggest winners, with the industry growing exponentially over the last 18 months and brands including Getir, Weezy and Gorillas all taking large chunks of the market.

The success of the startups prompted some of groceries biggest names to also edge into the market, with Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all venturing in through either partnerships or their own services.

An unexpected byproduct of the explosion of last-mile grocery delivery has been the realisation that now business owners know that the dark store model works, an entire market for the delivery of non-essential goods is there to be capitalised on.

The working professional, may often get back from work and fancy themselves a tipple, before realising that the last drops of the bottle of Merlot they were looking forward to was in fact finished off at the weekend.

Thankfully for the working professional there are a plethora of apps around for them to pick from to have a supermarket value bottle of wine delivered in under 30 minutes, however, what about if they fancied something bespoke, especially selected or to know what they’re actually drinking?

Luckily for them, Marco Nardone has created a one-of-a-kind platform whereby users can get carefully selected, luxury wines delivered to their doorsteps in minutes.

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Wineapp is an on-demand rapid wine delivery service that aims to not only deliver its customers good quality wine at fair prices however seeks to inform the customer what they’re drinking and where it has come from using a range of innovative technologies.

“Around 95 per cent of consumers don’t really understand much about what they’re drinking, they’ll know a couple of grapes that might like Merlot, Pinot Noir or whatever, but they won’t understand how different varietals taste different across regions or countries around the world,” Nardone told Charged.

“We saw that as quite a challenging problem to translate while building an app that that can deliver wine very fast to your door.”

Nardone also believes that on-demand delivery is the way that retail is going in the near future and not just a craze brought on by the pandemic.

“We’re living in a world we believe is moving fully towards on-demand, we came out of beta before the pandemic arrived, so our vision was always that on-demand would be the future channel of retail.”

Wineapp takes advantage of the fact that wine shops aren’t always open late and believes that it can fill the gap.

“Wine shops aren’t always open late, you get home and you decide what you’re going to have for dinner and then you fancy a glass. It’s more of a habit formation around wine. So we saw this as quite a gap in the market.”

One of the ways in which Wineapp differs from some of the now incumbents of the grocery delivery space is by specialising on one area instead of a range of different products.

“Food delivery was being done very well by Deliveroo, and still is, and now you have a lot of on-demand apps after the pandemic that were delivering very fast, but no one has focused around wine. In a range, we have over 800 wines, fine wines, craft beers, and artisan spirits in the app,” Nardone explained.

The technology goes beyond what’s available in your local dark store, which is how the majority of grocery delivery startups operate.

“The way that we’re positioned with our darks was we have the same products in every single warehouse. So no matter where you are in London, you’ll see the same products, but you’ll be connecting to a different warehouse. It’s quite complex logistics tech,” he said.

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The platform takes inspiration from social media giant TikTok and its video-style content to give users background information on the wine they are ordering and drinking.

“We’ve got video reviews, like TikTok style videos where you can buy from the videos built into the app, we have very easy to understand tasting notes, you can browse by flavour, so berries, woody, citrusy, etc,” Nardone added.

“We make it really easy for consumers to understand, and, as far as we know, no demand delivery company in the world does that with their service.”

“None of them are offering a specific experience, we offer wine videos from wine experts to help you understand translated taste tags, food categories.”

Nardone was quick to put his company aside from the other startups and companies that are normally associated with rapid delivery when he was asked.

“I guess no one’s a direct competitor, no one does what we do in terms of on-demand, fine wine delivery, with such a large range and knowledge.

“But the two sides of the coin is we have fast supermarkets and we have large ranges of wine stores, like majestic, who are also listed on Deliveroo, or Uber Eats but neither of them can really compete in our space.”

What Wineapp manages to do that no other brand has is offer its consumers fine wines at prices which it believes are fair.

“A lot of the wines that we buy are from wholesalers of the entree industry, so fine dining restaurants like Nobu, and we take those wines really good wines and we base it down to retail price.”

For a company that was only founded in 2019, it has taken full advantage of the landscape it has found itself in, seeing growth of over 1,000 per cent in a month last year, to offering over 800 bottles of bespoke wines, beers and spirits and offering a customer experience that is yet to be rivalled by the incumbents it shares the market with.

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